RUG falls in Times ranking

The RUG has fallen six spots in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking and is now in 80th place. Last year, the university rose an astounding 43 spots.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Traci White

For the first time, there are 13 Dutch universities among the top 200 in the ranking. The University of Delft, in 59th place, secured the highest spot among the Dutch schools. The University of Amsterdam clocked in at 63. Eight Dutch universities made the top 100.

The meteoric rise in the RUG’s position last year can be attributed to a change in the methodology that THE uses to create their list. ‘As such, it is difficult to compare the results to past years’, said RUG president Sibrand Poppema when last year’s list was published.


A lack of income from industrial relations this year was one criterium where the RUG received a lower score. In terms of scientific citations and representation of internationals, the university’s score rose this year.

According to Dutch university union VSNU, the rankings are a necessary evil. ‘Rankings never really provide a full picture of how a university performs. But despite their limitations, the rankings are taken seriously internationally and are considered an important source of information for universities, researchers, foreign students and employers’, writes VSNU in a press release.

The RUG was not available for comment.

In August, it was made known that the RUG had risen to 72nd place in the Shanghai Ranking. In the QS ranking, the RUG fell out of the top 100 this year and wound up in 113th place.

Update: Thursday, 11:41 a.m.:

‘The position of the RUG in THE reflects that the university is performing well in this ranking, as are other Dutch universities. We have even overtaken the University of Utrecht’, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens. But he also points out that the RUG shares VSNU’s standpoint on the rankings in general. ‘Rankings are rankings, not the gospel truth.’



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